Silk, Paat, Pattu, and Resham are some of the names this borderline biblical fabric is called in India. If the song ‘Yeh Reshmi Zulfein’ doesn’t play in your head when you think about silk, do you even know silk?
No problem. Because at fabricduniya, we speak, breathe, and wear silk. Actually! You’d be surprised to know that you are perhaps wearing silk right now. It is known as the strongest natural textile in the world. And not only is it used as a fabric on its own, but also as a developing fabric for many other textiles due to its characteristics.
It is probably the most exquisite fabric known to man. It is the epitome of bio-engineering. A true testament to the wonders of nature. It is unique, luxurious, and super comfortable. Its properties are what set silk a class apart from other fabrics. While all of this is true and it makes us want to cuddle in silk blankets, what is it about silk that makes it what it is?
Silk is basically a natural fiber that contains a protein called fibroin. Fibroin is a specific type of protein that a select few larvae secrete in order to develop cocoons. Most of our silk in the world is harvested from the ‘Bombyx mori’ larvae. They are larvae that are indigenous to mulberry trees. The larvae only feed on Mulberry to produce what is perhaps the most refined silk in the world.
The luster of silk is also contributed to the individual silk fibers. The fibers have a triangular prism-like structure. Their triangular prisms in turn reflect light at several angles which results in an attractive hue that silk is most famous for.
The legend of silk precedes the fabric itself. What started as stories amongst the early man took its sweet time to become the world’s best-kept secret. It was only by the 11th century AD was silk production widespread throughout Europe. For centuries, the secrets of sericulture were some of the most guarded pieces of information that transformed the daily lives of early weavers. It is also one of those fabrics that have relished the bittersweet influence of globalization. Thanks to the same, we are able to enjoy this fabric at affordable prices.
The weaving techniques of silk have transformed over its immaculate history. The types and forms of silk in the country are determined mostly by its weaving techniques. Some of the popular types of silk in India are Banarasi Silk, Mulberry Silk, Murshidabad Silk, Pochampally Silk, Uppada Silk, and so on. Most of the silk is named is determined by its weaving process or the city it has originated from. Whatever it is tagged as, it sure does carry a colossal amount of heritage of its origin, its weavers, and a culture that brings them both together.
Overall, silk is a comfortable, easy to wear, easy to wash, soft, luxurious, lustrous, absorbent, colorful, versatile, fine, resilient, and strong fabric that can the much-required oomph to any of your wardrobes. Phew!